A young child gets his moment with the Caped Crusader during one of the Superheroes of Victoria's many events in the Capital Region.

Superheroes hosting Kids Day in Langford

Westhills Stadium will be filled with caped heroes during family friendly event

Mark Ashfield can’t help but glow as he gives a guided tour of the Superheroes of Victoria’s home base.

Acting as the volunteer group’s very own Wayne Manor or Stark Tower, their Quadra St. headquarters – an 1,100-square-foot space that is charitably rent-free – holds dozens of masks, props and suits that have been making kids giddy for years.

Kids young and old, of course, because Ashfield’s excitement is evident when he discusses some of the group’s upcoming projects, be it an innovative new hammer for Thor or a tweak to the Wonder Woman suit. No stone is left unturned, no pair of spandex shorts left unpressed.

“It’s the little details that kids will pick up,” he explained.

Ashfield is the society’s founder and director, and while their origin story might not be as cool as that of Peter Parker or Clark Kent, it’s still pretty unique.

After moving to Victoria, Ashfield heard about the B.C. Children’s Hospital’s “Be a Superhero” campaign. Having had experience making costumes for friends in the past, he figured it would be cool to make a dozen superhero costumes and have a photo shoot with the kids. By the end of the shoot, parents were asking what the group’s next event would be and the Superheroes of Victoria were born.

“Now we’ve got to the point where we’re an official society,” Ashfield said. “On hand we probably have close to 40 or 45 costumes. We have volunteers that are able to volunteer once or twice a year or once or twice a week and we average about seven or eight events a month … I’d say our volunteer database is somewhere between 280 or 300 people.”

Ashfield helps with some of the costume design and digital work, but this is very much a team effort, and the society’s board is nine members strong.

In addition to the costumes that are made in house, the society also accepts donations from costume enthusiasts and other organizations.

The group’s events can vary from small awareness functions to helping with extended campaigns. They’ve supported organizations like Cops for Cancer, the MS Society and the Easter Seals Drop Zone over the years.

They’ve also hosted two of their own events every summer: Kids Day and the Superhero photo shoot. Those two events have grown in popularity to the point that this summer it was decided the organization would combine them and host one big afternoon of fun at a larger venue.

That will happen Aug. 21 at Westhills Stadium in Langford. While children will still have a chance to mix, mingle and get their pictures taken with their favourite superheroes, they’ll also get an opportunity to hear about the day-to-day lives of some real-life heroes in the region.

“[It’s] teaching kids that local heroes aren’t just what you read in comics. Putting out the fire, saving the innocent, saving the day; that’s been around since before spandex and capes,” Ashfield said.

“Kids realize they can’t grow up to be Superman, but they can grow up to be a firefighter and do all of the same things.”

The Langford event will also feature an arts and crafts station and a dunk tank, and Games2U will have multiple blow-up games and rides for children to enjoy. David Paul will perform songs from his newest album, appropriately titled “Superhero Music”, to wrap up the afternoon.

For more about the organization, visit superheroesofvictoria.org.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Friday night fire outside Saanich Staples

Witness says two employees helped put out blaze

Victoria non-profit empowers women escaping abusive homes with a fresh start

Organization’s gift certificate program helped around 400 women last year

VIDEO: Royal Bay Secondary students take flight in ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’

Play tells the story of the orphan who becomes Peter Pan

Sidney designer showing killer collection at Van Fashion Week

A young Sidney designer is showing her 14 piece collection Obsidian Nights at Vancouver Fashion Week

Support group helps Victoria parents navigate issues with children

Parents and caregivers offered “free, safe, non-judgmental, confidential” support

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

Most Read